tread softly because you tread on my dreams

I felt January’s poem should be in keeping with the spirit of the month. I am a bit skeptic about how December and January are always billed as the end and the start of things, even though lives usually aren’t that structured and events and attitudes tend to spill over from one year to the next. But I’ll do my best to, as we say in the Night Prayer, “look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities”. So, for the record, this is what 2011 is going to bring me: it’s going to be the year that I get a job, then hopefully a spot in a PhD program, my own apartment, run a 5K in under 30 minutes (it’s not the distance, but the time that’s the trouble. I’m a slow runner), and learn to bake all kinds of bread. Some of these goals are certainly doable, some include other people and are therefore a bit outside my control, but I can work towards all of them and hopefully make them happen. However, I have learned that dreams need to be handled carefully in case they shatter into a thousand pieces and can’t be put back together again. And that explains this lovely and vulnerable poem. Enjoy.

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams…

    William Butler Yeats

5 thoughts on “tread softly because you tread on my dreams

  1. Gina says:

    Ha, I was just thinking about this yesterday. How people tend to say ‘This past year was the worst! I’m sure the next one will be better’ but it so doesn’t make sense, because, as you said, things aren’t that structured and do spill over. Luckily, otherwise it would all be pretty boring.
    But I do hope your dreams and goals will come true and can be attained in 2011! That would be awesome πŸ˜€

  2. ash says:

    Like this post πŸ™‚ If you’re curious about the “He” who is doing all the wishing in this poem, it’s Aedh, a tripartite sort of symbolism with two other characters in Yeats’ other poems. Another great but bittersweet one is “When you are old”

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